Since roughly the start of the Reagan administration, federal antitrust regulators have mainly adhered to a theory of competitors law called the Chicago School that takes a narrower view of antitrust enforcement than previous schools of idea. FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, a Democrat, sought her as an advisor in 2018, when the commission was kicking off an antitrust enforcement evaluation. “Its unusual to come throughout a legal prodigy like Lina Khan,” Chopra informed The New York Times in 2018. The news that the White House prepares to choose Khan comes only a couple of days after the administration revealed it was bringing on Tim Wu as an unique consultant on innovation and competitors policy. Wu also has a strong background in antitrust analysis.
Expand/ Lina Khan, as photographed for a 2017 profile in The Washington Post.
In “Amazons Antitrust Paradox,” Khan argued that utilizing customer prices as the key benchmark for identifying whether a company or a merger is anticompetitive is not adequate which Amazons size and scale make it anticompetitive. “Specifically,” she composed in the abstract, “present doctrine underappreciates the threat of predatory rates and how integration across distinct service lines might prove anticompetitive.”
Her work made an enormous splash. FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, a Democrat, sought her as a consultant in 2018, when the commission was starting an antitrust enforcement review. “Its uncommon to come across a legal prodigy like Lina Khan,” Chopra informed The New York Times in 2018. “Nothing about her career is typical. You do not see numerous law trainees publish cutting-edge legal research study, or research that had such a deep effect so quickly.”
Critics, on the other hand, dubbed her theories “hipster antitrust.”
During 2019 and 2020, Khan worked as one of the House subcommittee staffers who assembled a massive, smash hit report digging into the antitrust ramifications of Big Tech. After 16 months of hearings, research study, and analysis, the committee determined last fall that Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google were all in some method breaking competition law and needed to be reined in.
The news that the White House prepares to nominate Khan comes just a couple of days after the administration announced it was bringing on Tim Wu as an unique advisor on technology and competition policy. Wu also has a strong background in antitrust analysis. His latest book, 2018s The Curse of Bigness, argued that unchecked market concentration was causing a new Gilded Age and all the issues that feature it.
The FTC has already filed a suit to break up Facebook, and it has actually reportedly been investigating Amazon for the better part of 2 years. Selecting Khan would be a likely sign the company would be more, rather than less, likely to act in the coming months.
United States President Joe Biden is apparently preparing to nominate antitrust scholar Lina Khan to the Federal Trade Commission, a move that would indicate his administration is open to aggressive antitrust regulation not just usually but specifically against Amazon and other Big Tech companies.
The Washington report mill has been floating Khans name as a possible prospect for the commission ever since Biden won the election, and Politico reported today that the White House is indeed preparing to tap her for the role, which requires Senate confirmation. At present, Khan is an associate law professor at Columbia Law School.
Khan vaulted directly to antitrust superstardom in 2017 while she was still a law student, when she released her blockbuster paper “Amazons Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal.
Antitrust law, as weve discussed, is not practically monopolies but rather about market power. Simply put: being the largest company in a sector is fine, but damaging rivals or consumers to remain that way and end up being is not.
Since roughly the start of the Reagan administration, federal antitrust regulators have mainly adhered to a theory of competition law called the Chicago School that takes a narrower view of antitrust enforcement than previous schools of thought. At an extremely high level, Chicago School followers tend to think of competition and mergers in regards to cost control. Essentially, if you control a market, you can extort buyers; therefore, competition is required to manage costs. By the exact same token, if customer costs arent increasing, competition needs to therefore also be great.